Lemelson Center Fellows Program

Funding Agency:
Smithsonian Institution

The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program supports projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation in American society. These include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products.

The Lemelson Center invites all applications covering the broad spectrum of research topics in the history of technology, invention, and innovation. However, the Center especially encourages proposals that align with one (or more) of its strategic research and programmatic areas, including 1) projects that illuminate inventors from diverse backgrounds or any inventions and technologies associated with under-represented groups, such as women, minorities, LGBTQ, and the disabled; (2) projects exploring innovation in sports and sports technology; or (3) projects that explore the broader ecosystem of individuals and institutions that support inventors, including inventors' professional organizations; angel investors, venture capitalists, and financiers; incubators and entrepreneurial coaches; patent agents and IP attorneys; product designers, manufacturers, and marketers; and bankruptcy-liquidation specialists.  

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2019

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

The Center annually awards two to three fellowships to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals (e.g. authors, journalists, attorneys) who have completed some advanced training (e.g. usually an MA or JD, but please inquire if you have questions). Undergraduates and Smithsonian staff should not apply. Fellows are expected to reside in the Washington, DC area, to participate in the Center's activities, and to make a presentation of their work to colleagues at the Museum.

Amount Description

Fellowship tenure is based upon the applicants’ stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of 10 weeks. All stipends are subject to tax; non-US applicants should inquire about visa status and tax implications. Stipends for 2019–2020:

  • Pre-doctoral: $750/week
  • Post-doctoral/Professional: $1,000/week

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Post Doctoral Fellows


Arts & Humanities

External Deadline

November 1, 2019